Holbrook Applauds Carroll Academy Students
BY JASON MARTIN
HUNTINGDON (November 6) — Acting legend, Hollywood star and part-time Carroll County resident, Hal Holbrook invited students from Carroll Academy to the Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center. Students were welcomed by the staff of the Dixie and served in style with a catered lunch in their honor.
Carroll Academy is an adolescent intensive day treatment program operated by the Carroll County Juvenile Court and licensed by the State of Tennessee. Over the years, Holbrook has invited students from the academy to the center. Each year he encourages them to stay the course and make something of themselves.
Funded by the Department of Children’s Services of the State of Tennessee as a custody prevention agency, the school serves
Photos by Jason Martin/The Banner the juvenile courts of Carroll, Henry, Henderson, Weakley, and Benton counties. Each student receives counseling, balanced meals, appropriate educational services, family intervention and group life skills training while a part of the program.
Prior to Holbrook’s arrival, Lori Nolen, executive director of the Dixie provided students and faculty a look at the museum and classroom portion of the building. Nolen presented items on display that were donated by Holbrook and his late wife, Dixie Carter.
With tears in his eyes, the award winning actor paid homage to the love of his life, Dixie. Holbrook said it was one of Dixie’s dreams to visit with students across the state and just talk with them. Carter believed children needed to experience kindness and love. Now through the center and school programs, she is living out her dream posthumously.
Holbrook looked numerous times at Carter’s portrait in the foyer leading to the theater named in his honor. He explained how she wanted to express her love and show her hometown how much it meant to her growing up.
Never fully believing the Dixie would come to fruition, Holbrook told his late wife to not get her hopes up. But the center did come to be, and Carter was so proud of the building and especially on how it is being used.
In honor of Holbrook, students performed a short self-written and directed play. The play portrayed the dangers of bullying, and how people need to make changes in their lifestyle in order to become a more positive influence on the world. Following a standing ovation from the crowd, Holbrook provided his thoughts on life to the at-risk youths.
Ever the performer and man of words, Holbrook stood before students, faculty, parents and media providing his thanks and gratitude for all those in attendance. He explained how important it is to say thank you either with words or through the heart.
Holbrook thanked Huntingdon Mayor Dale Kelley and Judge Larry Logan for their work in the community. He also thanked the students for being a part of his life, and how he was so proud helping be a positive part of their lives.
As the students left the theater, each took a moment to shake the 92-year old actors hand and provide a sincere thank you. With each hand shake, Holbrook made a kind remark and a special thank in return.
In December, 1999, Kelley unveiled plans for The Dixie Carter Performing Arts and Academic Enrichment Center, to be located on the Court Square in Huntingdon and named in honor of actress Dixie Carter from nearby McLemoresville.
Holbrook and Carter showed their love and kindness by helping raising funds for the center over a 12-year period. Holbrook has performed his legendary one man show Mark Twain Tonight on the Huntingdon stage. Now in its thirteenth year, the Dixie gives students the opportunity to feel the love Carter and Holbrook have for the children of Carroll and surrounding counties.